Foregoing elective neck dissection for elderly patients with oral cavity squamous cell carcinoma

Nir Tsur*, Eyal Yosefof, Dean Dudkiewicz, Nofar Edri, Sagit Stern, Thomas Shpitzer, Aviram Mizrachi, Esmat Najjar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: Elective neck dissection (END) improves outcomes among clinically node-negative patients with oral cavity squamous cell carcinoma (OCSCC). However, END is of questionable value, considering the potentially higher comorbidities and operative risks in elderly patients. Methods: A retrospective review of all patients older than 65 years of age who were treated for OCSCC at a tertiary care centre between 2005 and 2020 was conducted. Results: Fifty-three patients underwent primary tumour resection alone, and 71 had simultaneous END. Most primary tumours were located on the mobile tongue. The patients who did not undergo END had a higher mean age (81.2 vs. 75.1 years, P < 0.00001), significantly shorter surgeries, and shorter hospitalizations. Occult cervical metastases were found in 24% of the patients who underwent END. The two groups showed no significant differences in overall survival or recurrence rates. Similar results were shown in a subpopulation analysis of patients older than 75 years. Conclusion: Foregoing END in elderly patients with no clinical evidence of neck metastases did not result in lower survival rates or higher recurrence rates.

Original languageEnglish
JournalANZ Journal of Surgery
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2023

Keywords

  • aged
  • carcinoma
  • elective neck dissection
  • humans
  • mouth neoplasms
  • old age
  • retrospective
  • squamous cell
  • squamous cell carcinoma of head and neck
  • survival rate

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